EU Ambassador visits Anguilla for country’s Economic Review
European Union Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Mikael Barfod was on his maiden visit to Anguilla from March 11-13. While in Anguilla Ambassador Barfod met with Chief Minister Hubert Hughes, as well as Governor William A. Harrison, and attended the annual review of the country’s Medium Term Economic Strategy (MTES).
The EU is providing an overall aid package of EC$38.5 million (11.7 million Euros) to Anguilla to help the country boost economic growth and development. The EU aid programme particularly focuses on public finance management, economic diversification and social development, and reduced vulnerability to external shocks. Last year the EU disbursed the first tranche of EC$12 million (3.6 million Euros).
During his visit the EU Ambassador discussed progress in the implementation of the MTES and related reform policies, with a view to the next tranche disbursement of EC$13.3 million (4 million Euros) scheduled for June 2013. He also discussed aspects of the Public Finance Management reform and the macroeconomic stability outlook with officials from the Ministry of Finance and praised overall reform progress in Anguilla.
Following the MTES Annual Review the Government of Anguilla and the EU will work together to meet the set disbursement targets for June 2013. These include an increase in the transparency and efficiency of public spending through the implementation of procurement reform; the improvement of tax collection and revenue enhancement through property tax legislation reform; improved standard of education through the introduction of a literacy development policy and teacher training; increased access to secondary school Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET); and maintenance of a Catastrophy Risk Management system for natural disasters.
The method chosen for this assistance is Budget Support which entails the transfer of financial resources by donors to the national treasury of a recipient country upon demonstration of results in implementation of supported strategy. Compared to traditional modes of aid delivery such as project related, budget support promises greater country ownership, reduced transaction costs, better donor coordination, scaling up of poverty reduction and potentially greater development effectiveness.
The EU has a long-standing history of cooperation with Anguilla. It has been providing support to the British Overseas Country since 1976, amounting to about EUR 34 million up to today. While on the island the Ambassador also visited the Road Bay Jetty and Jeremiah Gumbs Highway as well as the Water Distribution and Airport Expansion projects which were co-financed by the EU under past agreements with the Government of Anguilla.